Student quits university after break-in trauma

An Alcuin student has left the University after a theft in her accommodation block left her anxious and traumatised.

First year nursing student Lily Cottrell had her room broken into earlier this term, and her laptop and DVD player were stolen.

Despite her residence being on the first floor of a secure block, Cottrell’s door had been kicked in, though no signs of forced entry were obvious anywhere else in the building.
Following the incident, she described suffering from serious anxiety, causing sleeplessness and paranoia: “I was frightened most of all because someone had been in my room and seen all my hundreds of pictures everywhere, so knew what I looked like.”

Although she admits that her own imagination has escalated the problem, Cottrell has now taken steps to leave the university, saying that she feels “it is the only way I think I will feel safe again.”

Alcuin Provost Tony Ward said he was “saddened” by the incident, “firstly because one of my students loses something precious to them, and secondly because our area has been violated.”

Despite her difficulties, Cottrell commended the university’s response to the theft: “I was impressed when it happened, that although I went to the porters’ lodge at about half ten, security were at my flat within a few minutes. They called the police for me and dealt with the situation immediately.” YUSU were unaware of the incident, and declined to comment.

The incident has not been linked to previous thefts in Langwith or Derwent, and no one has yet been reprimanded.


  1. “YUSU were unaware of the incident, and declined to comment.”

    Another example of the communication problem that exists between the university and YUSU. The university’s concern with confidentiality and general ignoring of YUSU means that often things like security incidents that students report through university channels (provosts, supervisors etc) don’t get reported to YUSU, even when it would be quite useful for YUSU to know about them. The problem isn’t quite so bad the other way around, and things that are reported through college welfare reps, where relevant, generally get relayed to YUSU and to provosts etc.

    Reply Report

  2. With all respect, should this girl not maybe get things into a little more perspective?! Ok, clearly it is an unpleasant incident but it is a clear over-reaction to leave the uni due to trauma.

    Reply Report

Leave a comment

Please note our disclaimer relating to comments submitted. Please do not post pretending to be another person. Nouse is not responsible for user-submitted content.